>Bruce talked about:
>> a strong trend away from generic platforms, toward proprietary, locked-down platforms. In the end, we will be left with nowhere to run free systems, and only jail environments for applications.
This worries me, too. I'm old enough to have first learned that a computer was a machine used by programmers to write and run programs. When desktop computers became everyday office and consumer appliances, there was no longer the expectation that the user would be a programmer, and most of these machines no longer even had the tools and libraries required to write software. Still, these were general-purpose computers that most certainly could be used for programming with some additional software.
Fast-forwarding to the present, the public is increasingly preferring to use a smartphone, tablet, or game console instead of a "computer". We all know these are all computers, but the public doesn't see it that way and doesn't expect these devices to be arbitrarily configurable or programmable.
So I think we are coming full circle - specialized devices are being used for specific applications, and the general-purpose computer is once again going to be just for programmers. I don't see it can really disappear, as there has to be a way to write code for all the specialized gadgets. Maybe OSS will come to dominate the desktop once the desktop is nothing more than a small niche for developers, kind of like how Linux already runs nearly all the world's fastest supercomputers.